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Tips on Shooting Great Photos of Fire

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 10/8/2009

Producing great photos of fire is a very challenging task of digital photography. It requires practice, patience and experimentation on various camera settings. If you are fascinated by fire and would like to take great photos of it, here are some basic tips for shooting great photos of fire.

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    Introduction to Fire Photography

    There are really no clear cut procedures or steps to follow if you want to take great photos of fire. The key thing to remember is to experiment as much as you can with the various settings of your digital camera until you have achieved your desired results. The best thing about fire photography is the fact that it can take as much form as possible without looking unusual, unlike portrait photography where you have to make sure that your subject looks as real as possible in the photo.

    If you really need some clear-cut tips and tricks on successfully taking great photos of fire, we've come up with 5 simple tips that we hope will help you in producing better pictures of fire.

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    5 Simple Tips for Fire Photography

    1. Don't use flash - This is common sense, and is the number one rule for fire photography. You are shooting light, so no need to add additional lighting.

    2. Experiment with exposure settings - When composing your shots, don't hesitate to experiment with various elements of exposure. Once you got the best setting, stick to it until you are able to capture a fire at its finest point.

    3. Use a longer shutter speed - To achieve a blurring effect with fire, it would be best to use a longer shutter speed. This would also enable you to capture light trails caused by sparking fire. The only downfall to this technique is a tremendous camera shake that you would encounter. Hence, use of a tripod is recommended.

    4. High ISO, faster shutter speed - Like when shooting water fountains or running water wherein you use the "Shutter Priority'' setting, you can also use the same technique with fire photography. This is especially effective when taking shots of moving people doing fire exhibition. Setting your camera to "Shutter Priority" will freeze the fire flame, giving your shots a more "liquid" and "fluid" look. To make it even better, set your ISO settings to as high 1600.

    5. Low ISO, longer shutter Speed - If you don't have a tripod or you would still prefer to take shots of fire with your camera handheld, it would be best to reverse the previous setting. That is, set your camera's ISO settings as low as possible and then set your camera's shutter speed to a longer setting. This will enable you to achieve some motion effects in your fire pictures.